Poker Quiz! A♥K♥ Preflop Vs a Limp & Raise, What Do You Do?

AK Preflop Vs a Limp and Raise-optimzd

DECISION POINT: You are in a large field online tournament with blinds at 100/200 and a 25 ante. An Early Position player limps, it folds around to the Cutoff who raises to 600, and the Button calls. Action is on you in the Small Blind with A♥K♥.

What do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: We are in a large field online tournament with blinds of 100/200 and a 25 ante and are dealt AhKh in the Small Blind. The Under the Gun player open limps for 200 and everyone folds to the Cutoff who raises to 600. The Button calls 600 and action is on us.

Our hand is likely way ahead of our opponents’ ranges here. The UTG limp is potentially a wide range and the Cutoff could easily be trying to isolate and get heads up in position with a wide range of their own. By limping behind the Button is encouraging more calls so it’s unlikely, but not impossible, that they have a premium hand and therefore have a capped range. The main question here isn’t if we raise, but what amount should we raise to.

Default in this spot would be three times the raise amount plus the call amount, or 2,400 chips. The issue is that two of the players involved have 5,000-6,000 chips.

Continued below ...

It’s important to be aware of when you are reaching the pot commitment threshold, a point at which you have enough chips in the pot that you are committed to continuing with your hand no matter what. For most players this threshold range is 25-40% of your remaining stack, with ⅓ stack as a standard amount.

With just under 9,000 chips to start the hand we are dangerously close to that amount and a raise amount of 2,400 chips would be in excess of the commitment threshold for two of our opponents remaining in the hand.

The amount already in the middle is also over 1,900 chips, an approximately 20% increase to our stack. Taking the pot down right here, right now without a showdown is a very good outcome.

Even if we don’t manage to take down an uncontested pot with our shove, getting heads up against a single opponent with lots of dead money in the pot and a top 5 starting hand is still a great result.

Moving all-in is the best play.

How would you play it?
Share your answer in the comments below!

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